Term project proposal: From wax to zeros and ones

13 01 2009

I’d like to look at the evolution of the music distribution.

I’d like to look at how music delivery moved from paper to wax to cassette to 8-track to CD to digital — and everywhere in between. I’d like to look at this through the scope of how technological advancements enabled new distributions. I believe I’ll have plenty of scholarly sources to draw from for this research.

Considering the long history of music distributions, I may look at “mass distribution” to narrow my scope, but would be open to any feedback about how else I can define this term project.

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4 responses

19 01 2009
Meg

You may want to look at Appetite for Self Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age ($26.00 Simon & Schuster). He addresses the industry’s refusal to acknowledge the technological changes such as Napster.

You focus on mass distribution is probably the key.

20 01 2009
Kathy

Love the headline! Of course, my first image of “wax” is paste-up (setting up page layout for printing!).

I’m not sure you’ll be able to cover *all* of those technologies in the short time we have. Which was the most disruptive to its predecessor? Which led to mass adoption? And are you interested in the technology or sales?

20 01 2009
Chao-Wei

Are you interested in seeing the correlation between evolution of communication technology and history of music distributions?

20 01 2009
peterlux

This is somewhat of a tangent, but how did distribution influence the actual music that was made? How did side A and B on vinyl change albums? How does downloading/streaming individual songs change the way albums are produced. Maybe the concept of an album will disappear altogether.

Lots of history in any case. What about the future?

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